There comes a time when even the most cherished bedroom closet is just too out of date to meet your needs. If you’ve concluded that it’s time to give your closet a complete remodel, then you need to have a firm plan in place, before you even think about taking the first thing out. If this sounds like the spot you are in, then this closet remodel guide will help you understand the process.

Take A Complete Inventory

A total closet remodel starts with a complete closet cleanout. Everything needs to be taken out to keep it safe during the remodeling process. So, you might as well do it right. Take the time to take stock of everything you were keeping in it before, and everything you plan to keep in the closet afterward. Chances are good, you will find outdated items that either don’t fit or are no longer in fashion, which can be donated or sold at a garage sale.

While you are at it. Take the time to find a temporary place to hand in and keep your essential closet contents. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a closet remodel.

Measure Twice

It can be tempting to dive into innovative storage options, but before you can decide the type of shelves and hanging rods you want to see in your new closet, you first have to know how to make the most out of your space. This starts with an intensive amount of measuring. You need to know:

  • The height of the closet from floor to ceiling in all four corners
  • The depth of the closet in all four corners
  • The current height of the shelves
  • The current height of the hanging rods
  • The studs and other structural components supporting load-bearing items
  • The depth of shelves and distance from hanging rods to the closet’s back wall
  • The width and height of the closet door
  • The location of all lights, as well as how far down they hang from the closet’s ceiling

Draw & Graph

With all your dimensions collected, you can start drawing out your dream closet. Graph paper can come in handy as it lets you quickly assess the units of space. It also lets you spend more time focusing on the features you want to prioritize rather than fiddling around with a ruler.

Divide & Conquer

When drawing up the new closet of your dreams, take the time to divide it into convenient sections. It often helps to start low and work your way up. Especially if you will be using the closet for your essential shoes or heavy storage items that need to be kept down low. As you move up be conscious about how low items on hanger rods will descend, and just how willing you are to let them mingle with your shoes and other lower items. This might influence the height that you set your hanger rods. Once you have an idea of your lower storage items and the position of your hanger rods, you can start to factor in overhead shelves. Most closets have a solid static shelf 4 to 12 inches above the highest hanger rod.

After choosing the height and location of your primary shelf, you can assess the remaining vertical space. Shelf dividers and adjustable shelves can help you maximize the vertical storage potential of your new dream closet. If you are contemplating adding drawers, you might want to also consider installing drawer dividers or drawer separators. Not only does this let you make the most out of drawer depth, but it lets you keep smaller items organized by providing each thing with its own dedicated space.

A Place For Accessories

Accessories like jewelry, elevated shoes, watches, scarves, hats, and more, can take up a lot of space. This is where that accurate inventory you took early on comes in handy. A jewelry box or a free-standing curio might be perfect for holding the majority of your everyday jewelry and accessories. Then you can leave a dedicated shelf or cubby, for display items.

Hooks Come In Handy

While you are considering your accessory options, you might want to think about adding some hooks. They can come in handy for holding daily-wear necklaces, scarves, sarongs, and other lightweight long items.

Choosing The Right Door

It might seem like a simple thing, but the door you choose can have a major impact on the overall functionality of your newly remodeled closet. Some rooms simply don’t have enough space to accommodate a full swinging door. In times like this you might want to consider:

  • Bifold doors
  • Sliding barn doors
  • Pocket doors
  • A fabric curtain
  • A bead curtain that can be tied back
  • Consider Your Floor Coverings

Floor coverings can be an important factor in walk-in closets. While hardwood and laminate floors are functional, they tend to be cold. Sometimes something as simple as a large throw rug or a tile floor with underlayment heating can provide softness and warmth.

Pull-Down Shelves & Hanging Rod Systems

If your closet has an abundance of height and ceiling space, but you aren’t comfortable stacking towering boxes on shelves, you might want to consider a pull-down shelf or a pull-down hanger rod system. Most can be set up on mechanical springs and pull-down devices that suspend it up by the ceiling. When you need something, you can easily bring the shelf or hanging rod down.

This is a great system for storing seasonal items. You could also use it to hold or hang lesser-used elegant items like evening wear and formal gowns in protective wardrobe bags.

Elevate Your Closet Lighting Options

It’s a sad fact that the closets of old were sparsely lit. Some had little more than a single bare bulb, descending from a single wire with a pull cord to turn it on. Unfortunately, single bulb lighting tends to create deep, sharp shadows that leave your favorite garments looking dingy, as well as making it hard to easily find what you want at a glance.

When contemplating your remodeled closet lighting options consider:

  • Energy-efficient LED accent lights
  • Recessed lights built into the ceiling
  • Track lighting for directional light
  • Multi-bulb light fixtures

Wall Coverings To Tie Together Your Style

If you are going with a wood theme, then stains and finish matters. Most wardrobe and reach-in closets benefit from a light treatment of stain to enhance the natural wood grain. Then a gentle semi-gloss or soft varnish finish helps seal the wood, without creating unnecessary glare.

When it comes to a walk-in closet, you might want to also consider paint and wallpaper. This can help accent the ambiance of the lighting and give your new closet more of a personal touch than a coat of white paint.